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Become a Sex Toy Reviewer – Part 6 – Vlogging Tips & Suggestions

To finish up my 3 part series on vlogging and blogging, as brought on by a bunch of twitter DM’s from Pantophile Panic, I offer you this; a shit tonne of my vlogging tips and suggestions.  May they serve you well.

Here’s the first part in the vlogging vs blogging series composed of 9 Q&A’s.
The second part, filled with another 9 Q&A’s, can be found here.

As for the question that got it all started…


Twitter DM Pantophile Panic Kara_Sutra

Oh, geez. I have so many… too many probably. I could blurt them all out in my usual fashion, but I think breaking things down to cover the internet, all the cons, and filming tips, would probably serve you best. With that said and done, let’s wrap this baby up!

On The Internets:

  • First and foremost, don’t entrust all of your content to a site, whether it be YouTube, WordPress, Vimeo or otherwise. I’d suggest using YouTube to host your videos online (specifically YouTube, the reach is invaluable), and using another that’s far more sex friendly to embed the videos on your website. That way if some dipshit decides to flag and remove them it wont affect your websites content.
  • On that note, buy a USB flash drive and use it often. When I started 6 years ago I was naive and didn’t think I’d need one, suffice to say many of my original videos weren’t saved anywhere other than YouTube… so when they shut me down (we’ll get into that later) I had no copies of my own. If I could go back in time I’d pelt myself with Belladonnas Bitch Fist for that. HARD. I’ve learned a lot since then.
  • It can’t be denied, YouTube is the one of the best sites when trying to extend your reach. Use it to its full advantage; include links to your blog, social media profiles, and other related material in the description box. And don’t forget to add tags and annotations. These are by far the most under used and easiest to employ elements of the site.
  • With over 100 hrs of video uploaded to YouTube every minute it’s harder than ever to build a loyal following and get noticed, as such don’t let low video views be a determining or demotivating factor in your worth as a content creator or reviewer, and don’t expect overnight ‘success’ with the first video you put up. Make videos because you have a passion for it and want to change things for the better, not to get rich or be famous. Sure, Bieber did it. You likely wont. #pessimist #truth
  • The more videos you make the more likely your stuff will show up in YouTube searches and be seen, remember that if you’re trying to build a following. On that note, create playlists and set up your account so videos link to the playlist. It not only ensures your content stays visible, it makes sourcing it easy and automatic.
  • Try to post videos regularly, i.e. once a week or bi-weekly. It’ll help keep your content fresh, give everyone a chance to catch up on anything they’ve missed, and give your a viewers a schedule to follow. If they know you post often, they’ll keep checking back.
  • If you opt to make videos weekly, do your best not to burn out. There was a point where I was doing 3 videos a week. I think it broke my brain… and vagina.
  • Share your video across social bookmarking sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon, work your social networks like Twitter and Facebook to the best of their ability, and do your best to find that happy medium between ‘spamming’ people and sharing content. Because twitter streams tend to update quickly you can probably get away with posting a video a couple times a day, however on Facebook that shit just wont fly.
  • After about a week, embed the video on your site and go through the process of sharing it again. It’ll help draw more traffic to both your video and website.
  • If you choose to use YouTube, and I think you should, you can easily employ a ‘subscribe’ widget to your blog that allows people to subscribe to your channel without having to leave your website. The peeps at YouTube are some clever little s.o.b’s.


On the Negatives:

  • Keep in mind that once you put yourself out there, what you do can be found by anyone. at anytime. anywhere. Family can find out what you do. Friends can find out what you do. Partners can find out what you do. Your arch nemesis can find out what you do. Potential employers can find out what you do. Even if it was something you did, but don’t do any longer, it doesn’t matter. There is no total delete button for the internet. Be sure before you make the decision to go ‘public’.
  • You will likely be inundated w/ more questions than you have time to answer (specific to YouTube). People might even get shitty with you simply because you didn’t answer quickly enough. My suggestion; craft up a reply that can be cut and pasted to let them know you’ll get back when you can. If that’s not enough, state in your videos that you wont be taking questions unless it’s through your websites contact form. If all else fails, avoid your inbox like the plague. Crappy I know, but your sanity is important.
  • Depending on the content your creating, you may get shut down. I’m far too well versed with this one. Learn to take it personally and be proud. Obviously something you’re doing is pushing boundaries. That’s not a bad thing. Ducky DooLittle taught me that. She is a legend.
  • If you don’t already have one, develop a thick skin. People can be very mean when they don’t have to be held accountable for their words.
  • Just remember, your safety and well being are important. If at any time you feel threatened or targeted you have every right to report it… or you could always call on your many online supporters to act like sex positive warriors and fight for you (I’m only half kidding on that one, not really. #bringonthetroops).
  • Since I’m on the topic of trolls, you might want to set your account so comments can only be posted with your approval. To do this select from within your YouTube account Video Manager> Edit (the video you’re selecting)>Advance Settings>Check ‘Allow Comments’>From the Drop Down Menu ‘Approved’>Save. Done and done.
  • Make very good friends with the concept of blocking and deleting. It will serve you well.


On Filming:

  • Write point form notes or simple cue cards of everything you want to cover, they’ll come in handy when you lose your train of thought. And you will lose your train of thought eventually. If you can manage it, take the time to write yourself a script, just make sure that if you do this it doesn’t sound like you’re reading one when you’re filming. That shit’s just tacky.
  • If you think you can film an entire review in one shot, do it. Otherwise try to film it in segments, it’ll make editing much easier.
  • Instead of spending a lot of money on a new camera try playing with the lighting in the room or settings on the camera. Sometimes being in a brighter or darker environment can make a world of difference when it comes to the quality of your output. You can also go the route of learning these 5 tips for beginner vlogging with a DSLR camera, but in most cases you’ll likely have a simple digital camera, so that’s just unnecessary until you’re ready to graduate up.
  • I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve gone to film only to have my camera battery die half way through. Make sure everything is ready before you film i.e. camera and product are both fully charged (if it’s a vibe etc), with back up batteries near by just in case.
  • If you don’t have a camera with a swiveling flip screen (so you can watch as you film) prop a mirror behind the camera so you can test angles, see if you’re centered, and check what works best. If a mirror doesn’t work for you, try hooking your camera up to a monitor or tv so you can view the live feed. Here’s how to do that (scroll down to “Composite”).
  • Do yourself a favor and learn to work with a timer. Maybe for you it will be different, but since I talk a lot I tend to go way past a 10 minute mark without trying. This leads to more editing. More cutting. More deleting. More work. If you can keep your content between 8 – 10 mins, you’re good. Otherwise plan for a lot of unnecessary wasted time.
  • Remember that each video you make is likely going to take much longer than you think; between scripting or crafting notes, filming, editing, uploading to a site, embedding to your blog, and linking through social media outlets, each 5 minute video will likely take many hours to from start to finish. That’s a lot time spent on something that sometimes nets no payout. Again, do it because you love it, not because you want to get rich.
  • Be patient with yourself and know that you’re going to fuck up. Seriously. Once you make peace with that and learn to laugh at your mistakes you’ll be fine. They do make for some pretty hilar blooper videos.
  • Most importantly be real, be honest, and be yourself. That will carry a lot of weight in whether or not people choose to follow or subscribe to your videos.

And done.

So that wraps up this lil 3 parter covering Vlogging vs Blogging! A big thanks goes out to Pantophile Panic for reaching out and asking a shit tonne of great questions, here’s her website here. If you still haven’t read it, hit up her post on the dangers of toxic jelly sex toys. It’s a doozy.

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Become A Reviewer – Part 5: Vlogging vs Blogging 2

A month or so ago Pantophile Panic DM’d me via twitter, asking for advice on getting into sex toy reviewing. More specifically, vlogging and blogging, which lead to a 3 part series on the topic.

If you’d like to read the first part, composed of 9 Q&A’s, you can find it here.

Otherwise, read on.

YouTube Image Logo1.) For vlogging, since YouTube is still borderline sex negative, have you vlogged anywhere else?

Before answering I need to explain a few things about YouTube and the way it worked back in the day…

When I joined YouTube in 2007 the ‘Partner Program’ was just getting started, and because they were testing the waters, they were very picky with who got accepted. For the first few years only those with exceptionally high view counts, living in the USA, creating content that was either relatively ‘family friendly’ or “highly marketable” were allowed into the program. Yes, there were some spread around other countries, but they were few and far between, operating more like guinea pig channels than anything else. It was a great way to make a living if you could get it. Back then chances were you couldn’t.

To make matters even more challenging, YouTube/Google spent a lot of their attention on what I call ‘crafting views’; rather than allowing videos to go viral on their own, the company pushed certain channels (ones that were ‘Partnered’) to gain higher views by adding them to every home page, having the videos pop up in the ‘related videos’ section (even if they weren’t related), suggesting those channels for subscription TO EVERYONE, holding view counts so only a select few rose to the top, and granting certain permissions (swearing, questionable content etc) others weren’t afforded. If that wasn’t enough, the company actively worked toward building Multi-channel Networks of ‘YouTubers’ that created content together with funding and support from YouTube/Google, (i.e. Maker Studios and Machinma). Basically put, if you were anyone but the few ‘chosen ones’, and/or didn’t have a network to back you, the deck wasn’t stacked in your favor.

Unfortunately, in the list of checked boxes YouTube required back in the day, the only thing I had going was high video counts (in 2007, 100,000 views a viral video made). Even though the content I created veered on the side of professional (no swearing, nudity, graphic images etc), by YouTube’s standards it didn’t. Slowly one by one, my videos started  being removed from the site with no explanation, notification, or response to my emails.  It was a slap in the face considering some of the other content they allowed. Wanting a home for my removed videos I began hunting for a site that was more accepting, both in regard to ‘partnering’ and the content I was creating (as per my account).  Finally, sometime during October of 2011, YouTube killed my account in its entirety, forcing me to take ALL of my content elsewhere.

So to answer the question, yes I’ve vlogged on other sites… mostly because I had no other choice. To name a few Vimeo, Girls Teach Guys (which is now defunct), a few others I can’t even remember since it was so long ago, and finally – which is BY FAR my favorite (*update shut down in 2015 not long after it was bought out by one of the original Multi-channel Networks, Maker Studios – I mentioned them above).

Thankfully joining the YouTube Partner Program is now open to pretty much anyone making videos (at least as far as I can see), so if you’re thinking of applying you shouldn’t have any problems. However if you do, don’t give up; of the 31 times I applied, I was rejected 30, and acceptance only came when I got my original channel back this year. Fucked up, but a step in the right direction.

2.) Did you ever worry about anonymity or people finding out about your blog?

Not really. I made videos long before I started blogging, so any chance of maintaining my anonymity went out the window. Also, most of the people that found my blog did so through my videos, so it didn’t make any difference. Add to that the fact that I placed videos (reviews and sex ed) on my website/blog to accompany written content, my face was pretty much everywhere. Having said that, I have in the past refrained from telling some friends or family what I do online. To be honest, for as accepting and open minded as they are, I don’t know how comfortable they’d be reading about me stuffing a Baby Jesus Buttplug in my ass, among other things. If they were to find me on their own, which many have, so be it. But I haven’t been readily handing out info to everyone that crosses my path.

3.) Did you ever have any bad encounters with subscribers or people commenting?

The trolls. Oh, the trolls. Let’s just say that I’ve been called every name in the book whether it be in relation to my body, gender, sexual orientation, the way I speak, how I dress, or what I choose to talk about. No one on the internet is safe from ridicule and judgement, so if you have a thin skin you might want to think about putting on some extra layers. It’s cold out there.

Your best defense: become very good friends with the Block and Delete buttons.

4.) Do you think sex bloggers should remain anonymous for safety reasons? What about sex vloggers?

That’s a tough question. As someone who’s been stalked online, received more than her share of hate mail, trolling comments, and threats – my favorite being the following…

I’m going to find where you live, cut your head off, nail it to a cross, and parade you around town like the blasphemous sinning whore that you are.

… I can understand how ones safety can be a big issue, no matter if you’re blogging or vlogging.

Whether you remain anonymous or not, if someone wants to be a total dick or threaten your safety, they’re going to. Not knowing specifics about you won’t stop them. It never has and it never will. Though I’ll admit, having a face to go with the name/vlog/blog gives them a bit more ammo since your looks or mannerisms will likely become targets for ridicule or judgment.

Even having experienced all the negative backlash, I still wouldn’t worry too much. But that’s me. If your safety is something you feel you need to protect, do so. It’s like the old adage goes ‘better safe than sorry’.

*For the record I actually found where said troll lived and reported him. Hacker friends tend to come in handy from time to time.

5.) Have you ever had an issue in real life with someone recognizing you from a video/picture?

Yes, and every time I’m left baffled but amused.

The most recent was 2 months ago at my best friends wedding, someone was at the bar and said I looked familiar but that he couldn’t place it. Soon after he found me and blurted out ‘this is going to sound really weird, and I don’t want to freak you out if I’m wrong, but are you that girl that made sex videos online?” I looked at him a little confused, puppy sideways head kinda deal, and asked “sex videos?”, to which he replied frantically ‘SEX ED! I MEANT SEX ED! NOT PORN, I DIDN’T MEAN PORN! ON YOUTUBE, THE VIDEOS ARE ON YOUTUBE!“. I live for moments like that. A week before I was recognized in a mall by a girl who thanked me for helping her learn how to express herself in the bedroom. A month or so before that I was recognized while waiting in line for overpriced beers at a concert. And just before that one of my co-workers asked if I made a video on dental dams, which she found while searching for some online. Even though all the experiences I’ve had have been amazing it’s still really weird to be ‘known’ by someone you’ve never met before.

6.) Have you ever had a video flagged/removed just for the sex toys?

YUP! In fact, MANY of the videos that were removed had sex toys in them. Even if the video was about kegels and showing products that could help strengthen them, or rounding up items that would be great for g-spot stimulation, or highlighting the importance of Eco-Friendly sex toys, it didn’t make much of a difference. They got flagged and/or removed. Not all of course, but many did.

*Update: after fighting YouTube for 2 years, eventually leading to threatening legal action, I managed to get the videos reinstated (which is how they’re on the site today!)

7.) Is there a way to avoid that by putting an 18+ only filter on each video?

Personally I suggest doing anything you can to avoid video’s being flagged or removed, be it adding an 18+ filter, limiting viewership to only those that have the link, placing an audio warning before the video, or uploading videos and embedding them on your site (without making them searchable in YouTubes filter). Sadly you likely won’t get the same viewership (in numbers) as you would if you left it open for the world to find, but if it means you get to keep your content I think it’s a good enough trade.

8.) What IS YouTubes policy about sex toys or things of a sexual nature?

Though you’ll likely find MANY videos of people reviewing sex toys, there is apparently an ‘unspoken rule’ that sex toys, even in review form, are a big no-no. Sex ed is fine. Sex positive content is fine. Even graphic depictions of genitals are fine (as per the number of gynecologist exams you’ll see on the site). However, finding evidence of this in writing is difficult, but can be found so long as you know where to look…

From the YouTube Community Guidelines;

We Review Videos Flagged As Inappropriate

Okay, this one is more about us than you. When a video gets flagged as inappropriate, we review the video to determine whether it violates our Terms of Use—flagged videos are not automatically taken down by the system. If we remove your video after reviewing it, you can assume that we removed it purposefully, and you should take our warning notification seriously. Take a deep breath, read our Terms of Use and try to see it from our perspective. If you find other videos on YouTube with the same violations, please flag them so we can review them as well!”

This, taken from their YouTube blog back in 2008:

Stricter standard for mature content – While videos featuring pornographic images or sex acts are always removed from the site when they’re flagged, we’re tightening the standard for what is considered “sexually suggestive.” Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they’ll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older. To learn more about what constitutes “sexually suggestive” content, click here.

Demotion of sexually suggestive content and profanity – Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our ‘Most Viewed,’ ‘Top Favourited,’ and other browse pages. The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions. In testing, we’ve found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate.

And finally this, which was added sometime in the last month or so from their Help – Policy Center:

Nudity and sexual content

If a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube.

What is and isn’t allowed

Sexually explicit content like pornography is not allowed. Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted depending on the severity of the act in question. In most cases, violent, graphic, or humiliating fetishes are not allowed to be shown on YouTube.

A video that contains nudity or other sexual content may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic, and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a documentary on breast cancer would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be. Remember that providing context in the title and description will help us and your viewers determine the primary purpose of the video.

– read the rest here.

Why some people get shut down over others is anyone’s guess; maybe the person in the review panel was in a shitty mood and decided to take it out on you. Maybe you got trolled hard by some group, or person, with too much free time and decided it would be best spent flagging your content. Maybe your videos had a large number of hits in a short span of time giving you the opportunity to go viral and someone at the company didn’t think it was ‘appropriate’. Maybe there was a glitch in the system and your video got removed instead of just ‘limited’ (I had this happen a few times, sending a letter to inquire is always a good idea). Maybe someone put a copyright claim against the music in your video (be it by your own doing or because it was audible in the background). Maybe you’ve just got shitty luck. Or maybe your content really does go against their Guidelines and Terms of Service. Everything considered, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of videos removed or flagged on the site everyday. Do your best not to take it personally, because most likely it’s not. Easier said than done, I know.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that YouTube is run buy a bunch of marketing geniuses and loose cannons, both of which have too much control. If the content you created doesn’t offer them anything to advertise against or proves questionable, by anyone, for any reason, they’ll nix it without batting an eyelash. At the end of the day YouTube/Google, the Multi-channel networks it supports, advertisers, and everyone else involved, is it in it make a buck, and so long as their efforts are proving prosperous, your success or demise doesn’t really matter to them.

Like I said before, it’s always a good idea to have backups just in case their sights get set on you.

end rant.

So that’s it for the second part of the Vlogging vs Blogging Q&A! Thanks to Pantophile Panic for getting in touch and asking such thought provoking questions, you can find her website here. If you still haven’t read it, I suggest you hit up her post on the dangers of toxic jelly sex toys. It’ll likely make you think twice about that questionable toy hiding in one of your drawers.

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Become a Reviewer – Part 4 – Vlogging vs Blogging

This past weekend I was contacted by the lovely Pantophile Panic, who was seeking some advice on getting into the wonderful world of sex toy reviewing. More specifically, vlogging and blogging

Kara_Sutra, Pantophile Pantic, Twitter, Q&A, Vlogging vs Blogging

After realizing it took me 4 full DM’d speech bubbles on twitter just to answer one question, not thoroughly enough or the way I wanted to, I thought it would be easier to do a Q&A with her on vlogging vs blogging since I’ve had experience with both… so here we are, 19ish questions later.

For as much as I wanted to, I’ve decided that instead of doing all 19 questions in one piece, I’m splitting this in three parts. 9ish questions in this part, 9ish questions in the next, and another that answers a question on tips and concerns. As you can likely tell by the length of this post, I talk, or write depending on how you look at it, way too much.

At least it’s an easy read. Promise!

What are the best and worst parts of video reviewing?

I’m not going to lie, one of the best parts of video reviewing is seeing the video views climb and watching the hits on my website rise, though it’s not for the reason most would think. Sure, the attention is nice, especially when the majority of comments come from viewers you’ve seen pop up time and time again in support of you and what you do, but instead because to me that means I’m reaching people and having an effect.

At the end of the day if I’ve made one more person aware of a better sex toy manufacturer or retailer, helped someone realize it’s time to toss that stank jelly toy, educated on the benefits of eco-friendly sex toys, or provided the info someone needed to feel confident and okay in their sexuality (my Sex Ed 102 videos specifically), then I’ve done my job and achieved the goal I set for myself. Feeling like I’m a positive force in the community, one that’s working towards a greater good is worth its weight in gold, or sex toys as the case may be.

Also… working with people I admire, receiving thank you notes from viewers saying I saved the from buying something unsafe, seeing the finished product and the way it fills me with a sense of pride, and building friendships with my viewers are priceless things I wouldn’t trade. There’s been many times over the past few years where I’ve let my vulnerabilities show, only to have them welcomed with open arms and unconditional support. It’s nice to know that over for every troll I’ve had to deal with over the years there’s been at least another 20 kick ass individuals that have had my back. That’s an amazing feeling.

The worst… the trolls, the countless hours of editing only to have your software crash before saving, forgetting to charge something like a battery before hand, spilling water on your notes that you wrote in marker, so they bleed and leave you with damn near nothing to go from. Having a video not turn out the way you expected (too much glare, out of focus, etc), feeling unprepared even though you’ve spent the last 4 hours getting everything ready, dealing with censorship. Feeling like it’s a numbers game, as in – each video must get higher views then the last or else! (it’s such bullshit). Being interrupted by a ringing phone mid sentence, the trolls, that moment when you’ve been talking for 5 minutes only to realize the camera isn’t on. Knowing that you will be judged by someone, somewhere, simply because you’re talking about sex or sex toys. Feeling like the video you’ve created isn’t good enough even though 9 times out of 10 it is (oh, that shitty little voice in my head, how I loathe thee!). Creating the video, taking far too many hours to edit it, thinking you’re done… only realize you forgot to cover something exceptionally important. Talking as if you have marbles in your mouth, for no good reason (again, blooper vids!). Did I mention the trolls?

Should I both write a written review and make a video for each product to accommodate people who prefer one vs the other?

At the end of the day what you do is entirely up to you, but in my opinion if you can manage it, do both.

The video doesn’t need to be long unless you want it to be. The written portion doesn’t need to be long unless you want it to be. But doing both is definitely a good idea. There’s a reason YouTube videos are so popular… I’ll probably catch some slack for this but I think most people don’t want to make any real effort if they don’t have to. The majority of our days are spent working to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and dildos in our drawers. After someone busts their ass for 9+ hours the last thing they want to do is sit down and do something that requires them to think. If you ask people to watch a video that’s 10 minutes in length, or read a review that will take them 10 minutes, both covering the exact same content, 9 times out of 10 they’ll choose to watch the video. It’s just easier.

My point? The more content you can offer to the sex-centric melting pot, the better.

Do you recommend video reviewing vs traditional blogging?

The short answer, not entirely.

The long answer…

Over the past 6 years the landscape of the internet has changed quite drastically. Some say blogging is dead, however I think it’s starting to really take off, especially in the sex positive community. Yes, I know, sex bloggers have been here all along… but here’s the thing, now more than ever sex ed is far more accessible, unbiased, open minded, all-inclusive of gender, race, and sexual orientation, up to and including the use of sex toys. It’s shifting towards being pleasure centered rather than penis-goes-in-vagina-this-is-how-you-make-a-baby or vibrators-go-in-a-vagina-and-NOTHING-goes-in-your-butt type of thinking. And that’s important.

Of course there are benefits of each…

Written content will help build your SEO in a way videos can’t, give you the opportunity to talk about things you might not want to on camera (i.e. your personal experience), allow a space to place text and banner ads so you can hopefully make an income, provide a place you can upload photos and make everything work together seamlessly in one place, and keep you safe from censorship or being shut down.

Videos on the other hand will grant you a much wider reach, make your content easier to find, likely be viewed more than a written review, offer a completely different and much more relevant way to show the product off (seeing someone hold a vibrator gives them a better idea of the size etc then seeing it in a picture), potentially make money (if you can monetize views), and get to know the person behind the reviews – you – in a far more personal way.

Which do you enjoy more personally?

To be honest, I love them both for very different reasons, with the written element coming in slightly ahead. The videos help get my content out there and are much more fun to create, but the written aspect is mine. Let me explain…

When I first started reviewing I just did videos and was totally happy with that. But as my videos started to gain regular views in the tens of thousands I found there were far too many people that judged, ridiculed, posted crappy comments, and acted like juvenile asshats. That’s when I decided to include the written element as an outlet for my personal experiences; rather than voluntarily airing my goings on with the world, I saved them for my blog. It was where I felt protected and safe to say what I wanted, without having to deal with a shit tonne of immaturity or negativity. My videos became less of a ‘review’ and more of a ‘product feature’ to compliment my writing, my blog became my own little corner of the internet. If someone really wanted to know what it was like they could go read about it on my site, if they didn’t that was their choice. Either way, I covered all of the bases and had two bodies of work that made me feel proud and accomplished.

How do you work with affiliates when reviewing a video, do you leave their links in the video description? Give them a verbal thank you?

This is something you’ll want to work out with each company you work with but for the most part, I’d include 2 links to their site within the video (one unaffiliated, one affiliated), a link to them in the description bar (affiliated), and a thank you within the video. Anyone that sends you a toy to review and an affiliate program to make a bit of money deserves some respect, and thank yous are always nice.

Here’s my one little warning: anything you put in the video will remain there forever. Even if you don’t work with the company anymore. Even if they kill their affiliate account. Even if they turn out to be assholes that you’d never want to work with again. I repeat, anything you put in the video will remain there forever. Be careful who you choose to work with and what you choose to include in your videos, once it’s online there’s no way to fix it. Sure you can pull the video down, re-edit it, and re-upload it, but that’s a major pain in the ass, especially if it’s a video with a high view count.

Would you say having a YouTube channel increases traffic to your website at all? By how much?

Yes. Most definitely, yes. Days when I upload videos I’ll see an immediate spike in traffic on my websites, social media, and an increase in sales on But that’s me, and I’ve been at it for 6 years. Unfortunately I can’t specifically say how much it will increase your traffic because that’s dependent on a variety of things; your view counts, how well you use the various opportunities for being found (linking, social media, tags, annotations, proper video labeling, etc), whether the content your covering is something people are interested in, how many subscribers you have, how many videos you have, how credible you seem etc. It’s different from person to person, but in the long run it will definitely help.

I don’t want to remain completely anonymous as a blogger. I want to be able to show people, and say “look at what I created.” People have suggested that I only do toy reviews while wearing a mask, or a wig and contacts. Disguise myself. I don’t want to do that. What are your feelings about that?

If you don’t want to do that, then don’t. The world needs more people that are willing to talk about sex in an open and transparent way, who are fearless when it comes to changing the game, who have a passion for what they do, take pride in it, aren’t ashamed, embarrassed, or scared of having their faces seen. Not that I have a problem with those that do, I understand more than many the importance of anonymity, but the more visible those within the sex positive community become, the better for everyone.


So that’s it for this part of the Vlogging vs Blogging Q&A! Thanks to Pantophile Panic for getting in touch and asking such thought provoking questions, you can find her website here. I suggest you take a gander at her eye opening post on the dangers of toxic jelly sex toys. All I can say is Ouch!

For those of you just getting into reviews, be it vlogging, or blogging, hopefully all the info I packed in didn’t overwhelm you. ‘Cause Lord knows, that’s the last thing I want to do.

Want to follow the whole series? Find it here:

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Becoming A Reviewer – Part 3 – Writing A Review

For those of you just getting into this series I highly suggest you go back and read the first article “Getting Into the Sex Toy World ~ part 1 Building Your Blog“. The article outlined free sites you can use to build your blog, provided examples of online sex toy reviewers that I think are FANTASTIC, included what you will need in regard to categories, and provided some “do’s and don’ts” that I think would be very helpful in developing your blog.

Once you’ve read the first article, and taken the time to build your blog, I suggest you read the next in the series “Getting Into the Sex Toy World ~ Part 2 ~ Becoming an Online Affiliate”. The article outlined the steps to take in becoming an online affiliate, provided a list of online sex toy shops you can affiliate to, and offered some tips to help you fill out the necessary forms.

*If you start to feel like you’re missing out or losing track don’t worry. There is no way to fall behind.  Go at your own pace and remember, this isn’t a race and you don’t have to rush to “keep up”. If it helps, I’ll be linking to previous articles in the series just so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything.

For this weeks article I’m going to cover writing a sex toy review, the next step in getting into the sex toy world.

As with the previous articles I need to stress that in order to write reviews and have affiliate accounts you need to be of legal age before getting started. As long as you are 18/21 (depending on where you live) you should be fine, but it’s always better to be safe then sorry.

Where To Begin

For most of you writing about sex toys may seem embarrassing, overwhelming, confusing and a little discouraging, especially if you don’t have much experience with them or know where to begin.

The best advice I can give when it comes to writing a review is to stick with what you know;

*If you don’t have a lot of experience with toys but have tried a handful of different condoms, write about them; the way they felt, if there was any noticeable difference between types or brands, what you liked about them (or didn’t) and why. Sure, many bloggers don’t like covering this subject (they have their own reasons), but I think it’s a valid place to start since it gets you talking about sex, thinking about the way things feel, what you like and don’t like, allows you to explore and experience your body in a new way, and gives you the opportunity to write about your findings in a relative way.

*If fetish play is more your thing and you’ve had experiences with items like novelty handcuffs, paddles, ticklers, blindfolds or restraints (meant for tying up) then write about that.

*If you recently watched an adult movie (porn) and it’s fresh in your memory write about it. There is nothing wrong with critiquing a movie, even when it porn.  For all you know you could become the next Roger Ebert of porn. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

*If all you’ve ever tried is a massager (that wasn’t actually designed for sex play) feel free to write about it. It’s surprising how many personal massagers double as some of the best sex toys. That’s how the legendary Hitachi Magic Wand started out.

*Finally, if you’re really stumped you can always take $20.00 to your local sex shop and purchase some basic toys to review. Decent products like the Power Bullet, My First Vibe, V-Ring or Butterfly Kiss can often be found for less then $20.00. If you have money left over you can also usually find products like cock rings or other novelties for under $5.00 to review. *Just make sure that whatever you purchase is body safe and phthalate free.

**once you’ve written a few reviews and linked to products through the sites you’ve affiliated to I’ll show you how to apply as a ‘toy reviewer’. I’d do it now but most companies want examples of your work to go on, which is what this whole series is meant to help you create.

Bare Necessities

No matter what type of item you’re reviewing there are basic key features or benefits that need to be included which will allow the reader a better understanding of the product in question;

*not listed in order of importance, that’s for you to decide.

Material:  Many people have allergies to materials like latex or have issue with the harsh chemicals that can be found in most jelly toys. By listing the materials you allow the reader to make a decision with their health and well being in mind, while also giving them a better idea of what the toy might “feel” like. *if you’re not sure what type of material the product is made of (after checking the box) I suggest you check the “sex toy materials” page located on the Babeland website.

Size: For some people size does matter, which is why it’s always important to list the size in length, girth and/or width of a product. While you may think I’m mentioning this because of the myth that “bigger is better”, I’m actually suggesting it because for most females a smaller toy is one they would prefer to have. By listing the size of the product you allow the reader to make a decision based on whether or not they find that particular size to bring pleasure or pain, not to mention whether or not it would something they could easily hide.

Function: The best way to describe the function is to suggest the type of stimulation the product has to offer; is it light/indirect or moderate/direct stimulation? The idea here is about the “power” the toy gives off rather then the actual stimulation you use it for.

Intended Use: This is where you want to cover what it’s meant to be used for; is the product designed for nipple play?  clitoral stimulation? is it great for helping to find the g-spot? can it be used anally? these are all questions you want to ask yourself when using a toy. Sometimes you’ll find that a product designed for one type of use is actually better for something completely different. If that’s the case, write about it.

Style: Most people assume that a vibrator is a slim, pasty white, elongated shaft with a dial on the bottom that simply vibrates. Little do they know that sex toys now come in 1,000’s of different styles, colors, textures and shapes. By describing the product you’re reviewing you give your reader a better visual picture of what it looks like and if it’s something they might like.*it’s also a good idea to include pictures of the product so that your readers can see it for themselves.

Cleaning Instructions: While most reviews I’ve read tend to leave this out I personally think it’s a very necessary issue to cover, especially considering the number of products that can be ruined due to improper cleansing techniques. Aside from that, it’s also good to note cleansing instructions as it helps your readers avoid any possible infections.

Compatible Lubes: This is another area that I find tends to be forgotten or left out of most reviews. You may opt to do the same but I think it’s a good thing to mention in order to avoid causing more damage then good. With so many luxury products on the market it would be a shame if someone ruined their toy by using something that wasn’t compatible.

The Bad: No matter what it is that’s being reviewed, there is almost always something that a person can find that they don’t like. When mentioning the “negative” aspects of a product be honest but always try to be careful of your words and respectful of the company that makes it. You are allowed to offer constructive criticism, and if you have the je ne sais quoi to bash a product without totally offending retailers and companies to the point that they don’t want to work with you, go for it (I think Epiphora does that best).

You don’t have to write your review in this order, nor do you have to include headings or titles if you don’t want to. This list was simply created to give you a good idea of what you consider when writing your review and what you might want to include. Feel free to take out or mention anything you want. It’s your review, not mine.

As for length, it doesn’t have to be long or winded; it just has to speak of your experience honestly, openly and with some sincerity…especially if you are someone that wants to have others read their reviews and trust their judgment on toys.

Be Creative

When it comes to the actual review do you’re best to be creative and remember there are no rules. There is no “right” or “wrong”;  just your experience with a product as described by you.  Be honest, responsible, and respectful with your approach, but don’t be afraid to have fun with it.

Tip: You’re fully allowed to use choice words like “cunt”, “pussy”, “cock”, “dick”, “vag”, “coochie”, “va-jay-jay”, “fuck”, “ass”, “shaft”, “shlong” if you want to.  Just don’t go overboard or it will possibly come across as tacky or unprofessional.

You’re also allowed to talk about your own “personal” experience with the product if you want to i.e. “Last night while I was masturbating I tried using the new xxxx in my wet pussy…” – see where I’m going with this. Again, you don’t have to do it this way, but I have read some reviews that were explicit and found them to be not only hilarious, but also very informative and fun. Just choose your words carefully.

For those of you that want some inspiration or just some ideas of how to write a review these are ones that I love and think might help you discover your own personal writing/reviewing style;

Hey EpiphoraThe Alumina Motion

Pop My Cherry Review Pirates (porn)

Beautiful DreamerBow Mesh Corset

Britni TheVadgeWigAdventures in Packing, Or, Product Review: Mr. Limpy

Naughty EliotGlass Dreams Topsy Turvy

CarnivalesqNjoy Fun Wand

Kinky WorldMoist Lube Dispenser

Pretty Power ToolseLove by Fun Factory

Hey EpiphoraLove Letter To Turbo Glider

Wrapping It Up

Sex toys are fun, so make your review fun…make it something you would want to read if you were someone else. Allow it to be that place where you let loose and just let go for a minute. It’s your space and your blog. No one else’s.

I’m sure most writers would agree that the key with writing the review is to just write it. Don’t let your fear of failure or judgment get the best of you and if you get stumped take a break. You’re allowed that. Remember, this isn’t meant to be stressful.

Once you’ve written your first review I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to write another, and another, and another. There is something quite thrilling about talking about sex toys… even more so, writing about them.

Remember guys, I was once in your shoes and know just how confusing it can seem. With a little help and support I’m sure you can learn how to be successful at doing something that is not only liberating but shit tonnes of fun as well!

To make it easier I suggest you take this coming week to write a review of something you’ve tried, even if you didn’t like it. That way you’ll have something to learn how to link  through when the time comes.

For those of you that don’t yet have a blog but would like to participate, I suggest you go back to the first article in the series, Become A Reviewer – Part 1 – Building Your Blog, and get started. From there head over to the second part in the series, Become A Reviewer – Part 2 – Becoming An Affiliate and learn everything you need to know about affiliating so you get toys, and hopefully make some money from your reviews.

If you have any questions about setting up your blog/becoming an affiliate do your best to find the answers online, if you can’t feel free to send me a message and I’ll do what I can to help.


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